Balanced Effort Leads CSU to Win Over Blue Knights

Balanced Effort Leads CSU to Win Over Blue Knights

Urbana Boxscore (PDF)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University men's basketball team received contributions from up and down the lineup as the Vikings led from start to finish in cruising to a 94-65 win over visiting Urbana Tuesday evening in the Wolstein Center.

Six Vikings reached double figures on the night while eight players scored between seven and 14 points. Ten of the 12 Vikings to see action played at least 13 minutes while no one played more than 26 minutes.

"The way we shared the ball was the nicest thing to see," head coach Dennis Felton said. "We made 31 field goals, and 19 of them were assisted. That was the thing that most stuck out to me tonight."

CSU shot 31-of-60 from the field (51.7%) while holding the Blue Knights to a 24-for-68 mark (35.3%) from the floor. It is the third time in three games that the Vikings have had a higher field goal percentage than their opponent.

Cleveland State actually shot even slightly better from distance as it connected on 13-of-24 attempts (54.2%) from downtown. The Vikings also demonstrated improvement at the line where they went 19-of-26 (73.1%) Tuesday.

For the second time in three games, true freshman Rashad Williams led the team in scoring as he had 14 points. Sophomore Tyree Appleby had 13 points, on 5-of-7 shooting, a game-high six assists, four rebounds and two steals.

Junior Jaalam Hill hit 5-of-7 from the floor to notch 12 points while adding three rebounds and a block. Sophomore Stefan Kenic made 3-of-4 from downtown en route to 12 points and four boards.

Sophomore Algevon Eichelberger just missed a double-double as he posted 10 points and a game-high nine boards. He also added two blocks. Despite seeing limited action in the first half due to foul trouble, true freshman Seth Miller finished with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Eichelberger hit a three-pointer on the game's opening possession with the shot clock winding down, and the Vikings were off and running. Appleby hit Millner for a textbook alley-oop a few minutes later to keep the momentum with the hosts.

Kenic hit a three off a feed from Appleby fewer than eight minutes in to put the Vikings up 19-9, and CSU would lead for double digits for the remainder of the game.

Appleby fed Williams for a three on the right wing just a couple seconds left in the half to push CSU's lead to 18 points (43-25) at intermission.

After falling behind by 26 points early on in the second half, Urbana used a 14-3 run to cut its deficit to 15.

The Vikings refused to let the guests get closer as junior Jaalam Hill made a layup while being fouled before Appleby hit a stepback three to help stem the Blue Knights' tide of momentum. That started a 14-2 run for the Vikings to regain total control in the contest, which kept CSU's lead at 20+ points for the remainder of the game.

The CSU bench outscored Urbana, 39-31, for the contest, marking the third time in three games that the Viking bench has outscored its counterpart. CSU grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and had a 48-30 advantage in total rebounds. Freshman Deante Johnson and Dibaji Walker both had five boards, three of the offensive variety.

"We're looking to get better Friday," Felton said. "Our staff sees so many areas we need to improve, but at the same time, all it is is an opportunity for us. Each day we're trying to figure out how we can get the most improvement from that day."

Freshman Gregory Kolomoisky made his collegiate debut late in the contest.

Cleveland State will continue a four-game homestand this Friday, Nov. 16, when it hosts South Carolina State.